Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #245 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Psalm 55 and 56 today and our focus is on How Can We Not Be Afraid and Trust God + Origins of America’s Motto.. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Three sub topics today, and two chapters to read, which seems like a good bit to bite off for a supposedly 10 minute podcast, so we’d better hit the ground running. Since the mid 1950s, the motto, “In God We Trust” has been on all United States currency, replacing our former (but not official) national motto, “E Pluribus Unum, which means, “out of many, one.” In God We Trust, of course, predates the 1956 official adoption by the U.S. congress by quite some time. It was famously quoted in Francis Scott Key’s most famous work – anybody know it? Yes, you got it! “Defence of Fort M’Henry,” where this line appears in the fourth verse, “In God is our trust,” a poem and song that has had a tremendous influence on the last 207 years of U.S. history, though you might know that poem more through it’s famous adaption as, “The Star Spangled Banner.” Now,as you guessed, In God We trust is even older than Francis Scott Key, dating all the way back to Psalm 56, where it appears twice, in vs 3 and 11, as, “in God I trust; I will not be afraid.”
Speaking of being afraid – how can we NOT be afraid? Consider vss 3-4 and 10-11 of Psalm 56:
When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise,
11 in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mere humans do to me?
Now, lest you think David is speaking out of bravado, he those lines are actually spoken in a situation of dire need, as evidenced by vss 1-2 of the Psalm:
Be gracious to me, God, for a man is trampling me;
he fights and oppresses me all day long.
2 My adversaries trample me all day,
for many arrogantly fight against me.
David’s sitrep is that the enemies of the Jewish people, the Philistines have captured him, and they are holding him in the capital city of Gath. If that city sounds familiar to you, perhaps you are familiar with the famous champion of Gath, Goliath of Gath? The giant David killed and beheaded when he was younger. So, David is being held by his enemies in THAT city. Scary…and yet, David – though in obvious danger….is NOT afraid. How? Three keys we see in this Psalm:
- When I am afraid, I will trust in you. (Psalm 56:3) David WAS afraid. Fear is enescable in this life, but when we are overcome by fear, we must do what David did – intentionally drag our hearts and thoughts in the direction of trusting God. WHEN FEAR COMES, TRUST GOD. In God We Trust. And yes, I know it’s not that easy, so we continue.
- What can mere mortals do to me?, What can mere humans do to me? (Psalm 56:4 and 11) This is a good question, and not a hollow one. What can mortals do to us? Well, it turns out an awful lot. They can taunt us, kill us, mock us, hurt us, make us sick, torture us and more. Why not be afraid? Let’s let Jesus answer that question, “4 “I say to you, my friends, don’t fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. 5 But I will show you the one to fear: Fear him who has authority to throw people into hell after death. Yes, I say to you, this is the one to fear!” Luke 12:4-5 Well, you know Jesus – we are afraid of dying…at least, most of us our. What is He saying to us here? Those who know the Lord and are saved by Jesus are ETERNALLY secure. Jesus isn’t being insane here – He is looking back on His infinite existence and knows that our 75 or so years of life are fleeting – eternity is the important thing, so don’t fear a human who can’t do any more than kill you – fear God, who controls your eternity. This is exactly what David is saying – mere mortals only have a limited ability to trouble us. So – we fear God, we don’t fear trials and troubles and situations.
- This I know: God is for me. As we have discussed before, this is NOT a verse or a promise to go out and put on your church sign. God is NOT for everybody, He is for David – He is for those who have been saved by Christ. How can we know God is for us? Well, it is not because of our wealth, our good deeds, our donations, our looks, our goodness, or the family we were born into. It is because of Jesus, and His salvation. In the New Testament, Paul goes a step further than David and says:
31 What, then, are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He did not even spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. How will he not also with him grant us everything? 33 Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies. 34 Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the one who died, but even more, has been raised; he also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. 35 Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ….37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39
One more topic, but first, let’s read our passage.
Final topic – here is one of the great promises in Scripture, in Psalms 55:22 Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you; he will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
Give that burden to the Lord, my friends. Toss it up to Heaven in prayer (speaking metaphorically) Remember the invitation of Jesus: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 Come to Him and lay your burdens down at His feet.
Bible Memory verses for the month of September: 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2nd Timothy 3:16-17
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